Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Offering Support

I don't even know what to call this post.

I had an interesting afternoon. I attended the funeral of a nineteen year old who died on Thursday. He used to be my fifth grader. And his brother was my fifth grader before that.

Pretty much every parent pours everything they have into their children. Trouble is, children grow older and make more of their own choices. Trouble is, there are a lot of unsavory things from which to choose. This battle involved drugs.

I don't know all the details but I feel for his family. They are strong. They are surrounded by many others. I didn't know what else to do besides attend the funeral.

Seven of his Young Men's leaders sang a beautiful hymn together. I'm sure they stood up for him many a time and there they were, once again offering any support, any scaffolding they possibly could. Still in his cheering section. The music was soothing. The stories were great. And funny. For some reason I remember his essay about the recipe he put into our class cookbook.

His bishop spoke of visiting him at a treatment center. Hunter requested a priesthood blessing. Time was short. The bishop said there was an overwhelming witness of the LOVE that our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ have for Hunter, and for all of us. It's true.

I sat by Chuck Brown. She, along with Hunter's mom, used to teach at my school.

Such a beautiful service. Such a beautiful boy!

And then I went to the temple. It's my tradition after attending students' funerals.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hardway Ranch

Last week, our faculty had a Fall Social just down the road at the Hardway Ranch. Don't you LOVE the name??

Our hosts are such generous people. I noticed the faculty members spoke less about school and more about other topics. There was a great feeling there--so nice to socialize somewhere outside of school. It was the best. Lotta love at that ranch!

Too bad I had to leave early. It was my first Board of Review and I found it to be an enlightening experience. Eleven and twelve year old boys do so much growing up by the time they hit sixteen or so. Cute, cute! God bless Scout leaders everywhere!

Sigh. So much of life swirling around.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

On the Back Side of the Spelling Test

Those quiet little ten year old girls that never make a peep...yeah.

I Love Being a Girl

The title of this post comes from a friend's Facebook post. She spent time crafting--making a cute pillow with which to decorate and another cute wooden thing for her porch. She was bubbling over about loving being a girl and a wife and homemaking and looking forward to motherhood. She is just where she needs to be and I am truly thrilled for her.

I started out with those same types of desires but my life has taken a different path. Motherhood drained out of me over the course of days and weeks--on four separate occasions. Fabric stores are foreign countries to me. Crafting is not my...thing. So I decided to click through the last few years in photos to remind myself why I too LOVE being a girl!

I love being a girl because I know I am a cherished daughter of Heavenly Father. I love to visit the House of the Lord, the Holy Temple. It is there I find myself most grounded.

I love being a girl because there are so many interesting things girls can do! I can photograph cows at sunset and hike the Grand Canyon. I can set a pretty table for Christmas Dinner. I can visit my woods in Yankee Springs where I wandered as a girl child. I can also enjoy the outdoors right after snow--Spring Break is Spring Break and I wouldn't want to waste it. I love being a girl that reads. I'm a girl that can say she took Brandon Mull on a cave tour. I can dress up like Laura Ingalls Wilder. I'm a girl that pulls out a V-8 after climbing to the tippy-top of Naomi Peak. I can move rattlesnakes and teach others to do the same. I can laugh at duck butts.

This girl has grown tomatoes on the porch and in the garden. She has followed her husband to some interesting locations with interesting weather. She visits students after they've had their helicopter rides with Life Flight.

What's not to love about having dinner with the Japanese sister with whom you shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Girls can fall in love with caves! And dinosaur tracks. Girls can help out at Bat Night even when the bats hiss ferociously. Girls can swirl melted chocolate expertly. Girls can adore their darling husbands. And petroglyphs! Girls can make friends with men at the Hutterite Colony. Honestly, not everyone is on a first name basis with Hutterites, but I am. Girls can laugh so hard it sounds like they're shifting gears (maybe they get it from their dads?).

Oh, I craft once in awhile. I arrange fruit. I display shrimp to make it easier to grab. Perhaps my craft consists entirely of amateur photography. Just maybe my craft is the words you are reading (all five of you). Girls can exercise for 57 weeks in a row! Girls can love the faces of sea lions. Girls can help their family members receive saving ordinances.

I had the same dreams once upon a time. You know that classic one...children bringing a fist full of dandelions, freshly picked? Well, my reality has turned out to be a tad unique. Not everyone gets a bouquet of grizzly bear on Mother's Day.

I also love being a girl. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Since Norris Geyser Basin

Since TR and I walked through Norris Geyser Basin on Labor Day, I've been in a bit of a tailspin, narrowly avoiding crashing on many occasion. I'm happy to report, however, that some things manage to keep me sane and upright.

Color. I love the green and gold of geysers. And gray. They all start with "G" and go together marvelously. Speaking of green, some fellow teachers and I hiked to the Enchanted Forest. The sunflowers are in their glory. The Western Cone Flowers are not. We had our Native American Trading Day and one student made this darling doll. My Mud Slide (aka "desk") is so out of control. I stayed at school until after 8:00 p.m. this evening and made a dent in it.

But nevermind. Taught a great lesson today about the Iroquois Confederacy (5 tribes united). Taught about their democracy and elected leaders. Then...tied that in nicely with Constitution Day!!! Sometimes the stars do align.

It's bus duty week and I've been focusing on really seeing the children and what they're up to. Yesterday morning, I noticed five all looking up the same tree, staring with vigilance. I asked and learned that no, nothing was stuck up there, rather, there was a WORM on a LEAF! Today, I caught more than five all staring and pointing at something. It was a HUGE spider dangling from its web. Those kids know their playground. They know when something exciting is happening. They see so many things that adults do not see.

A sixth grade boy has been wearing a penguin suit before and after school as well as during recess. His little brother dared him. His parents are making sure he follows through. You just never know what you'll get while on duty.